Harmonial Vegetarian Society
Apparently there was only one such experimental settlement in the Arkansas Ozarks. It was founded by physician James E. Spencer about 1857 in Benton County two or three miles east of Maysville. Spencer called the site Harmony Springs, while the group itself was called the Harmonial Vegetarian Society. It was patterned after the earlier Oneida Community of New York state. Unlike Longley's communities and the town of Liberal, the Harmonial Vegetarian Society professed Christianity. One thing that the Harmonial Vegetarian Society had in common with the Missouri experimental communities, however, is that it was an object of scorn from some locals. For example, since the Harmonial Vegetarian Society set aside no particular day for religious services, the members were accused of breaking the Sabbath and were charged with the offense in Benton County Court. Goodspeed's 1889 history of Benton County even claimed that the Harmonial Vegetarian Society renounced marriage, although there is no evidence of this. Lack of local acceptance may have contributed to the demise of the Harmonial Vegetarian Society, but the fact that Spencer left the group after about three years probably had more to do with it. The final blow came in the spring of 1861, as the Civil War came on, when Brigadier General N. Bart Pearce took over the property at Harmony Springs to use as a training ground for his troops.